Summary: Any outpouring of the Spirit has its origin in the heart of God Himself. But, it’s birthed in the burden of believers who are in prayer.
Revival: A Surprising Move of God (Pt.2)
September 9, 2015 CFBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson
A “Lord, what will You have me to do?”
1 On September 23, 1857, Jeremiah Lanphier (a missionary, street corner preacher, door-to-door soul winner) prayed this prayer out of a heart that was broken for the people of New York.
a Within two months of Lanphier praying this prayer to God, there would be 50,000 gathering in prayer meetings.
b Any outpouring of the Spirit has its origin in the heart of God Himself. But, it’s birthed in the burden of believers who are in prayer.
2 Matthew Henry, “When God desires to do a fresh work, He sets His people to praying.”
a The Laymen’s Prayer Revival of 1857-59, considered by Perry Miller of Harvard to be the most important event of that century, started with a desperate, concerted prayer from the ordinary church members.
b The fires of the Second Great Awakening (1787-1843) had grown cold, churches became stagnant.
aa Most churches were not growing enough to outpace the losses they were sustained by death, removal, or discipline, while a widespread indifference to religion became prevalent during the years leading up to the Layman’s Prayer Revival.
bb Our nation was rich, doing well: President James Buchanan said on March 4, 1857, “No nation has ever before been embarrassed from too large a surplus in its treasury.” During the same inaugerial speech he said that corruption was thriving as the result of the love of money over public virtue.
cc “Men forgot God in pursuit of gold.” one writer described the national landscape.
B At the height of this economic boon, the bottom dropped out of our economy (October 14, 1857, btw, a Shemitah year) and the east coast was financially decimated.
1 Preachers were saying that the collapse was God’s judgement of America’s sin. (Called their congregations to prayer, fasting)
a Some revival historians see the Layman’s Prayer Revival simply as a knee jerk reaction to the economic panic.
aa Samuel Prime, editor of the daily New York Observer, observed that the prayers had began prior to the bank collapse.
bb However, when people didn’t have jobs . . . they had plenty of time to go to prayer meetings.
b As a nation, we were also feeling the tensions of slavery (Nation was divided, ideologically, economically, racially).
2 The Layman’s Prayer Revival wasn’t planned, organized, under the leadership of one person . . . not one voice calling for “revival.”
a It was birthed from the hearts of the believers in individual churches, across denominations.
aa However, the revival that would take place nationally would start in the same place that every awakeing occurs, “pleas for explicit agreement and visible union of the people of God in extraordinary prayer for revival of religion and the advancement of Christ’s kingdom on earth.” -Jonathan Edwards (1740's)
bb This awakening didn’t come as a river at first . . . started in puddles (Here & there)